Tenerife: Highs and Lows
I managed to start 2022 abroad, although in a different place I had originally planned. My bestie and I had booked Thailand a few months ago. But the rise of the Omicron variant meant quarantine rules were back understandable and for Thailand, this was 7 days! Almost half our holiday time, so we bit the bullet, rescheduled our holiday for the summer and booked a shorter trip to Tenerife. Mainly to catch some sun and start the new year in a relaxing environment instead of rushing. Below I’ve jotted down some highs and lows of this experience.
A series of narrow roads high up in the mountains connect the North and South of Tenerife which runs through the lush Masca Valley. The view of the mountains, the gorge and the corridor to the sea was incredible.
While this is beautiful to visit, there aren’t too many people who still live here as it can be challenging to drive through the narrow roads.
But I’ve read this is a fantastic spot for hiking — which I will definitely come back to do!). If you are thinking of hiking, this website should provide a good starting point!
If you are interested in learning more about the culture and history of the Island and want to experience something other than the beach or a restaurant, I would highly recommend booking an excursion. Normally, I would plan my own excursions but to drive on the right-hand side on this terrain was a slight obstacle. If you are feeling braver than me, hiring a car would be a good way of seeing more of the island outside the tourist bubble.
While it was -4 degrees in some parts of the UK at the start of January, we were lapping up 20–22 degrees daily. Since I haven’t travelled in 2 years, being in the sun was the most important motivator when choosing our destination. Quarantine rules for different countries really limited our choices but I couldn’t really complain when I could visit the beach every day!
Decent package holiday experience
This was my first package holiday in over 10 years and I must say it was a decent experience, considering all the uncertainty travelling during covid presents. Communication with Tui was efficient and clear before and during our stay and we received updates when rules changed re PCR testing before returning to the UK.
Even though Tenerife has not been a bucket list destination on my radar, being there opened my eyes to why it appeals to a lot of people. The temperature is decent, it’s quite cheap as package holiday goes and sitting by the pool or beach is popular out here. Within saying that, I guess this experience reminded me of why I like to travel in the first place and what sort of experiences I am looking for abroad — to explore new cultures authentically.
The food was quite bland in taste and flavour and there were very few vegan options to choose from. However, the menus of most restaurants included useful icons alongside each food item noting which dishes contained animal products.
Interactions with people
On the whole, our interactions with people were okay. But there were some moments where I thought some people were a bit rude. For example, one guy was gesturing for us to wear our masks while we were on the street. I felt this was uncalled for since there was no mandate for wearing masks on the street. Plus, their close proximity to us during covid times felt pretty counterproductive to the point I assume they were making.
Another example occurred while we were walking along the promenade. A guy started walking towards us and appeared to want to engage in a conversation. Since we felt an odd vibe, we swiftly walked away in the opposite direction. However, he started to raise his voice and speed up as well. At this point, he was shouting at us and was getting even closer, so we started to speed walk until we rounded a corner and then we ran. I’m not sure what motivated this person to act in this way but it was quite scary at the time. Especially since we couldn’t understand what he was saying or what his intention was. We made it safely back to our hotel, however, we were a bit shaken by this experience. The fact that we had to run reminded me of the importance of knowing the emergency number of the country you’re visiting, just in case anything happens.